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Seven Poems


Here only. Whose open throat only.
Speaks nothing.
Speaks nothing as nothing.

Comes near.

To wander with never. Such flesh.
As though wounded.

With never to wander. With never such flesh.
As though opening. Opening.

Where distance is luminous.
Only is nothing enough.
Where distance is nothing so soon.

Though nothing will open.
These open lips open. For nothing —

this distance. No longer

Here only. In silence.
Remaining as no one.

As no one where no one appears.


The Open

In rainlight to breathe out how nakedly.
This will repeat.
This if only.

This. Let there be speaking of speaking away.

And as if. Yet never. Let there be
bleeding out. Only that secret
words carve this heart into.

Receiving. That only receiving could be.

Thereby fire incited. This kiss. As if
only if.

Silence remains.

Let there be only this. Nameless. This
fire within.

Lavish as dusk as brightly. Let there be blood.
To be given to silence. Our mouth to ungather.
Forever this love.



To write as though nothing.
The name of this distance descending.
The bones of no other no lovelier now than this.

Twilight to come.

By darkfall this whisper is written.

After the absence awakens
our heart in that nevermore
never will speak.

As nothing is other than only
the eye must forever be

severed by twilight. Then only
for nothing to be and by nothing be seen.

Every last lovely word bleeds out.

Unhoped for. That word that must neither be
finally spoken nor heard.

To follow the infinite absence.
Wounding all words. To be never yet.
Swallowed by never.

Again is to therefore turn back.

Forever devoured by thickets of darkfall.
No other horizon of beautiful eyes.
Beautiful eyes. Impossible

eyes that must therefore if never arrive.

Elsewhere this whisper cuts open.
Every word longing for nothing now other than.

Only the absence of absence cuts therein our tongue.

Never this kiss. Never so lovingly
opens withinto another. Already this flower

this twilight. Already this fire
is fire no more.


The Ladder

Entire this. Overgreen. Excess
of vision. New rigors uncunning.

Of daylight. Returning from
utter earth. Given within each this.

Radical. Radiant. Only this birth by which
bleeding your neither eye.

Neither is here. Nor is
there. Is atomic now. By which is

now seen. As daylight. Sheer
daylight. Perceiving.

That eye by which all that. Is all. Is
all nothing. Divine.



However this veil of twigs woven.
By afterlight. Elsewhere. Begins

to unwrite our words. Only. To darken
with dying the air.

Duskfall is elsewhere the marrow.
Nothing so suddenly
wounded this wordless touch.

Only by iron is all.

Yet darker within as yet elsewhere.
The hours are written by fire.
Barely by dying discerned.

Alone as smoke barely. Awakens then after.
The dawn. Your absence.

Is elsewhere the kiss.



Deeper sapphiric. Approaches that prior dawn.
Throat in which other uncertain words there.
Are there. Still words. Still

words we are given to. Breathe
in. Breathe into. Breathe

briardeep. Therein syntactic. Last luminous.
Is now this fraying mist. Is now this

intimate from which. Souls form.


The Way of Grace

Early mint. Intimate. Lace of now
leaves now in spirit. As infinite
as if. In spirit within. Is now.

New. Is new glorious. Daylight
embracing that shade of late

morning. Your every last minor design
for which. Only

let therefore eternal loss offer.
Ecstatic decline.


Andrew Maxwell studies medieval English literature at Harvard University, focusing on the craft of Middle English mystical texts. His poems have previously appeared in LETTERS and Concision Poetry Journal and are forthcoming in Lana Turner and Colorado Review.